We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Highly disappointing, try somewhere else...”

Almustafa Lebanese Restaurant
Ranked #1,460 of 6,492 Restaurants in Sydney
Price range: $0 - $33
Cuisines: Lebanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: Glebe
Reviewed June 23, 2014

Whilst the negatives far outweighed the positives, lets start with the positives first to get us on a good footer. The food was lovely but limited in portion size, my group (15 people there for a birthday party) ordered the Sultan's banquet, which consisted of dips, breads, cauliflower, potatoes, then lamb and chicken kebabs on another type of bread, then sweets and coffees to finish. There were supposed to be vegetarian options for those who were vegetarian's, but we can't comment on that because it never arrived. We'll get to that. At $45 per head, we were thinking there would be a lot of food, and to some extent, e.g. breads and dips, there was - although the next day many of my party stated that they had been left hungry, which surprised me. I had left hungry but as the hostess who organized the party I assumed it was because I was flitting around most of the night making sure everyone had drinks and was chatting.

I'd dropped a big birthday cake and about six bottles of expensive wine to the restaurant a few days before because the party was a surprise one, I didn't want my fella getting suspicious if we walked in with an armful of alcohol. I'd requested that buckets of ice were put out on the table so we could start drinking straight away, and when we arrived, I noticed that nothing had been laid out. So I asked. We were all chatting, 20 minutes passed, so I asked again. Another 10 minutes. Someone brought out a cup of ice, put it on the table, and left. Waiters and waitresses scurried around but no one really ever stopped to ask if we needed anything. My guests started mentioning that they were hungry. So I went up to the bar and asked again for ice and our drinks, and said we would start eating now, and we had one vegetarian. My requests were met with annoyance - that was a warning bell to me, however, I was having fun and had worked hard to make the night successful so left it.

The white wine and champagne, beer and ice buckets came out, but no red. As each bottle was about $50-60 a bottle, this concerned me. Finally, the boy at the bar came out and said he'd misplaced my red wine and would give me two on the house. I didn't complain but mentioned that they had been expensive and I would like his two most expensive in return, I remember his face was irritated and he said, "Well these are our most expensive and I'm giving you these!". Again, I smiled, thanked him and left it. If you are reading this pal, you didn't do me a favour - YOU lost MY expensive wines, and the ones you gave me in return weren't as expensive as the ones I had brought. You should have been more apologetic.

Another 15 minutes, and the food started coming out. Dips and bread and cracker things, lovely. My complaint is not with the food. Something that occurred to me was how inattentive the waiters and waitresses were. For instance, they'd put a dish down, walk away, put another dish down further away, see that the first dish hadn't been touched because none of the guests had plates because they'd been cleared away after the last course and just walk away. I was CONSTANTLY walking up the bar and asking for fresh glasses, new plates, jugs of water. Ridiculous, just ridiculous. I shouldn't have had to ask all the time, one waitress was very polite and sweet but should have been asking if we needed anything, especially at $45 per head.

On top of that, we paid a corkage fee per person of about $2.50-3 and not once was a glass of wine poured for us. I took over that role, making sure it was all distributed and everyone was having a good time. When the mains came out (lamb kebab and chicken on bread), people started tucking in. I waited patiently for mine, which I had read was falafels and runner beans. 30 minutes and nothing. So I went up and asked again, this was met with annoyance. I sat down, 20 minutes later, still nothing. I gave up, I cancelled the order. A friend of mine asked for a Heinekin and out came a Corona. One of the waitresses then came out and asked loudly "do you want your cake now?". A surprise for my hubby sitting next to me, ruined. I said, "no there are supposed to be sweets and coffees aren't there?" I was still starving at this point. Out came four small plates of various Lebanese sweets, really nice though, but no coffees, although people were still scurrying about looking busy but not really doing anything.

Then the cake came, and what a surprise that was as well. It was a huge white chocolate mud cake with a personalized message written on in dark chocolate icing-writing. Something must have happened during its stay at Almustafa where all of the letters jumbled and reassembled, to spell something like 'hbairthandyday man x'. They must have realized when they brought it out that this wasn't how it was supposed to look, but plopped it down anyway without a word and walked away again. I suspect it's because they didn't keep it in the fridge like I asked. Another disappointment but we laughed it off.

Then the bill came. $45 per head and a corkage fee per person, an easy $750 for them for not doing much. We ended up tipping about $50, although it was not deserved. I was so looking forward to this evening having heard great things. I am very polite and so were my group, but when I asked for things that should have been assumed or already done I was met with short reply's, rolled eyes and sighs. Not good enough. Maybe it's just the staff in the Cushion Room upstairs, but it was still disappointing. Particularly for me who had paid $100 for my hubby and I, I hadn't eaten much because I was doing the waitresses job for them, and on top of that lost money on the lost wine and the slightly-off cake. I won't be going back and I won't be recommending it to anyone. Such a shame because they had seemed so energetic in my phone conversations with them, but I had probably been speaking to a head host or manager who would have made our night great. I am a full time University student who works on a casual basis in customer services, so I do understand how hard it can be catering to big groups, but there was no catering whatsoever. And having paid over $300 of my hard earned cash on the entirety of this dinner alone, I expected more. I felt it was a waste of money.

You are much better going to somewhere like Taste of Lebanon in Randwick, you will get bang for your buck, the food is delicious and plentiful and the service impeccable.

Almustafa, you are disappointing. There are so many great places on Glebe Point Road that you will need to up your game before you deserve to be there.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
7  Thank Michelle I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (84)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

43 - 47 of 84 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2014

I've been to Almustafa's several times over the last fews years. Recently booked a table for 6 in the cushion room, but when we arrived, no room in cushion room and as per our previous visit, they put us out on the balcony (great start).

There were 4 of us wishing to have the $59 banquet and the other two opted for a main dish only. The banquet food arrived in good time, but the other two people didn't get their meals. We waited for 25-mins after our food had arrived, then spoke to a waiter about the mains. They were quite rude about being very busy. Finally, around 35-mins after we started, their received their meals (in the meantime we were 2/3 of the way through the banquet).

This place is not cheap, but the service and good food made up for it in the past, but after the last experience, I won't be rushing back there again.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Peter_Rath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2014

We have been travelling 30 kms each way for almost 14 years, since they opened in Cleveland st Surry Hills, terrific hosts, fantastic cooks. Lamb Sambusic, Lamb Shawarma real highlights along with the best homous, tabouli and fatouche you will ever taste. Love it.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank landth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

My family and I have eaten here many times over the years and, for us its very much a place for special occasions: birthdays,visiting family and friends etc.
Its a special a special occasions place as it is a bit expensive - which is my only gripe but which doesn't deter me from marking Almustafa as excellent.
As a rule, we go for the banquets/set meals which at $40+ per person (as of early 2014) offer best value and a mouth watering cross section of Lebanese foods.
Our favourites are the Kebeh, coriander potatoes, soujouk and the fantastic array of kebabs but the banquets/set meals do give a scintillating array of choices.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Nigel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2014

This is an authentic family run restaurant in the heart of Glebe which serves the most amazing food. With four of us dining we decided to get a mix of starters and mains to share. If I had one criticism it would be that the food came out really quickly. Having said that as soon as we asked, they slowed it down which suited our requirements. Our feast consisted of lamb shawarma, majuddera, chicken, babaganush, hummus, fattoush, tabbouleh and bread - there really was nothing we could fault. Fine, fresh and tasty every dish was an absolute pleasure to eat.
Without a doubt we will be going back really soon. This restaurant is now one of my all time firm favourites.

Thank keocat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Almustafa Lebanese Restaurant also viewed

Sydney, New South Wales
 
Sydney, New South Wales
Rose Bay, Waverley
 
Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney, New South Wales
 

Been to Almustafa Lebanese Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing